This Land: The Battle over Sprawl and the Future of America (Google eBook)

Front Cover
JHU Press, Mar 1, 2008 - Political Science - 312 pages
3 Reviews

Despite a modest revival in city living, Americans are spreading out more than ever—into "exurbs" and "boomburbs" miles from anywhere, in big houses in big subdivisions. We cling to the notion of safer neighborhoods and better schools, but what we get, argues Anthony Flint, is long commutes, crushing gas prices and higher taxes—and a landscape of strip malls and office parks badly in need of a makeover.

This Land tells the untold story of development in America—how the landscape is shaped by a furious clash of political, economic and cultural forces. It is the story of burgeoning anti-sprawl movement, a 1960s-style revolution of New Urbanism, smart growth, and green building. And it is the story of landowners fighting back on the basis of property rights, with free-market libertarians, homebuilders, road pavers, financial institutions, and even the lawn-care industry right alongside them.

The subdivisions and extra-wide roadways are encroaching into the wetlands of Florida, ranchlands in Texas, and the desert outside Phoenix and Las Vegas. But with up to 120 million more people in the country by 2050, will the spread-out pattern cave in on itself? Could Americans embrace a new approach to development if it made sense for them?

A veteran journalist who covered planning, development, and housing for the Boston Globe for sixteen years and a visiting scholar in 2005 at the Harvard Design School, Flint reveals some surprising truths about the future and how we live in This Land.


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This land: the battle over sprawl and the future of America

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this engaging, vivid, and provocative work, journalist Flint (Boston Globe ) consolidates years of covering the causes and effects of sprawl (unplanned suburban expansion calling for increased ... Read full review

Review: This Land: The Battle over Sprawl and the Future of America

User Review  - Sara - Goodreads

This book bogs down into legislative particulars about mid-way through and loses some of its vim and vigor. But the first half is a worthy read that draws attention to the disaster of suburban sprawl. Read full review

Selected pages


Developing America
Grids and Greenfields
Suburbias Promise and Curse
New Paradigm New Urbanism
The Smart Growth Revolution
Walk Daily Buy Local Build Green
Hands Off My Land
Dream Defenders and Sprawl Inc
The Density Dilemma
Smart and Fair
Planning and Disaster
Six Healthy Habits for Sensible Growth
Bibliographical Essay

Pitched Battles

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Anthony Flint is a fellow and director of public affairs at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the author of Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City.